"Government investment in the arts is critical to support the expression of new ideas and cultural diversity across our society." - Gov. Jerry Brown
California Arts Council Grants Awarded to 13 OC Groups
The California Arts Council (CAC) is awarding 16 grants totaling $104,500 to 13 Orange County organizations.  The grants were approved at yesterday's Council meeting in Richmond.  All told, the CAC awarded more than 500 grants totaling over $5 Million during its spring round of funding.  Orange County grants are as follows:
Arts and Learning Conservatory - $3,000 (Professional Development/Consulting)
Arts Orange County - $9,600 (Local Impact) and $9,100 (Veterans Initiative in the Arts)
Breath of Fire Latina Theatre Ensemble - $10,000 (Cultural Pathways)
Laguna Plein Air Painters Association - $3,000 (Professional Development/Consulting)
Media Arts Santa Ana - $10,000 (Cultural Pathways) and $9,600 (Local Impact)
Muckenthaler Cultural Center - $7,200 (Artists in Schools)
Orange County Children's Therapeutic Arts Center - $3,000 (Professional Development/Consulting)
Orange County Women's Chorus - $3,000 (Professional Development/Consulting)
Pacific Chorale - $3,000 (Professional Development/Consulting)
Relampago del Cielo - $8,400 (Local Impact) and $3,000 (Professional Development/Consulting)
Shakespeare | Summerfest OC - $10,800 (Local Impact)
Vietnamese American Arts and Letters Association - $3,000 (Professional Development/Consulting)
Six from OC Served on CAC's Expert Panels During this Spring's Grant Review Process
California Arts Council (CAC), like most state arts councils and the National Endowment for the Arts, follows the best practice of assembling peer panels of experts in the field who volunteer their time to review dozens of grant applications and meet to discuss them before ranking them.  The rankings determine whether and how much each grantee will receive, based upon the budget allocated for the program by the CAC.
In the spring 2016 grantmaking, six Orange County arts experts were among those who participated as grant review panelists:
Steve Dilley, ceramist & faculty member, Saddleback College
Emily Gibson, development officer for Shakespeare Orange County
Sharon Herpin, arts education consultant
Joseph S. Lewis III, Professor of Art & former Dean, Claire Trevor School of the Arts, University of California, Irvine
Victor Payan, Co-Founder, Media Arts Santa Ana
Berenika Schmitz, Executive Director, Casa Romantica Cultural Center and Gardens and Chair of the Arts & Culture Commission, City of Dana Point.
Each year, the CAC issues a call for prospective grants review panel members, and anyone may apply to become part of the pool.  Panel membership rotates annually to ensure fairness.



  Arts Orange County is supported in part through funds from
New State Budget Includes $6.8 Million Increase for Arts
On June 9, the State Legislature and Governor Jerry Brown concluded a budget deal for 2016-17 that includes $6.8 million in increased grant funding for the California Arts Council (CAC). The budget received full Legislative approval on June 15 and goes to the Governor, who is expected to sign it in the days ahead.
The arts funds, approved on a one-time basis, will bring total CAC funding to about $15 Million, considerably less than what it was at its peak of $32 Million in 2002, but well above the meager $1 Million budget at which is was funded for 12 years.  Even with this increase, however, California still ranks well below the national average in per capita funding for the arts.
This marks the fourth consecutive year of increased funding for CAC, which can be attributed to improved state revenues and to stepped up advocacy by the California Arts Advocates (CAA).
ArtsOC Executive Director Rick Stein, who serves as Board President of CAA, commented:  "This is a huge win for the arts statewide, and came about through strong bi-partisan support in the Senate and Assembly--a clear recognition of the important role the arts play in the life of California's citizens and economy."
With increased funding over the past three years, CAC has been able to expand its competetive grant making programs, with more organizations benefiting.  Grant support focuses upon arts for underserved populations, students and veterans, emerging organizations, professional development and consulting, and for arts services organizations, like arts councils in most of the state's 58 counties.  Additionally, new programs fund innovative approaches to creative placemaking.  What has not yet returned since the CAC lost most of its budget over a decade ago, is general operating support for arts organizations throughout the state, which many hope will be restored in future years.
In addition to the CAC funding, the state budget increases the Arts in Corrections funding by $4 million to a total of $6 million.
For information, contact Karen Ahola
Arts Orange County is the leader in building appreciation of, participation in and support for the arts and arts education throughout Orange County. 
It is a powerhouse in advancing Orange County's arts ecology, a trailblazer in advocating workforce development through arts education, a leader in building future audiences and a trendsetter in the world of nonprofit arts councils.

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